Via the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog by Scott Brinker comes the latest iteration of his marketing technology landscape “supergraphic” (no mere infographic is this!) – and my god, what a blindingly painful thing to look at!
You can click for a high-res version here (2600×1950, 4.7MB) or for a high-resolution PDF version (14.3MB). A huge kudos and thanks to Scott for producing it as well as for making it free to copy, repost, distribute, and use this graphic “as is” in any context.
Scott has also blogged about it and there are several things that he pointed out that gave me reason to pause.
Firstly, while the supergraphic represents a whopping 947 different companies that provide software for marketers, organized into 43 categories across 6 major classes; this graphic is not comprehensive! According to Scott: “It is just a sample, albeit a large one, of the many different kinds of software available to marketers today. There are many more companies — indeed, entire categories — that were not included, merely due to the constraints of time and space. And by the time you read this, it will inevitably be out of date due to new launches, re-launches, expansions, exits, and mergers. The pace of change in this field is breathtaking.”
Secondly, I also liked how he was able to categorize these technologies into six classes of marketing technology AND posit them in what he called “a semblance of meaningful structure”. The six classes were:
- Internet services such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter that underlie today’s marketing environment.
- Infrastructure such as databases, big data management, cloud computing, and software development tools.
- Marketing Backbone Platforms such as CRM, marketing automation, WCM, and e-commerce engines.
- Marketing Middleware such as DMPs, CDPs, tag management, cloud connectors, user management, and API services.
- Marketing Experiences — more specialized technologies that directly affect prospects and customers across their lifecycle, such as advertising, email, social media, SEO, content marketing, A/B testing, marketing apps — the “front-office” of modern marketing.
- Marketing Operations — the tools and data for managing the “back-office” of marketing, such as analytics, MRM, DAM, and agile marketing management.
and they all fit together like this:
Scott goes on to blog in greater detail about the implications and takeaways that impact both technologists as well as marketers – which I do recommend you spend some time on.
However, here are my takeaways:
1) Marketers are also technologists. The growing interplay between marketing and technology can no longer be ignored. On one hand, much of marketing today (analysis, tracking, delivery) is heavily reliant on technology, while technology departments are starting to see their budgets being shared/controlled by marketing departments. If you haven’t wrapped your head around technology yet, you should start. We are way past TVCs, print ads and even traditional public relations here. Heck, we’re even past just having a website, leveraging Google/SEO/SEM and having a Facebook/Twitter presence! A good place to start would be to look into what some are calling “The 4 IT Megatrends“.
2) Marketing technology brings hyper-engagement. Scott also mentioned this in his blog and I heartily agree. There is a “seismic shift of marketing away from advertising to experience-driven marketing”. Through efforts such as content marketing, social media marketing, interactive experiences, along with the analytical capabilities, marketers have an unprecedented (and, I might add, an extremely challenging) opportunity to deliver a brand’s promise in a real, engaging way to a hyper-targeted audience. Imagine that.
3) Integration is important! Surprisingly (or am I just naïve?), marketing is sometimes still executed in a silo manner. Territorial fiefdoms sometimes exist among product/business owners, IT and marketing operations or they can even exist amongst marketers themselves – i.e. among advertising, digital/social media, PR/communications, etc. Hence, when it comes to the end-to-end strategic goals of marketing – from targeting and insight/analysis, to delivery/execution – a good marketers must have a keen strategic overview to ensure integration and alignment. With the proliferation of tools that are easy to access and designed for DIY, marketing integration and alignment has never been more important.